January Legislative Updates

I’m back in Juneau and feeling cautiously optimistic about the 2018 session. Finance subcommittees have started to meet, and after several special sessions that seemed never to end, my colleagues and I are anxious to pass a fully-funded budget as quickly as we can.

The Governor introduced his priorities in the recent State of the State address. Creating safer communities in Alaska is a shared priority for us all. With the recent massive earthquake that struck in the Gulf of Alaska, we see how funding for state troopers, police, public safety and emergency preparedness is critical across the state. We can no longer afford to chop funding for these services— in many cases, our lives are on the line. Speaking of public safety, the courts are using a new assessment tool that helps determine if someone accused of a crime should be put out on bail. As this new bail policy rolls out, I want to hear from you to see if you think it’s impacting public safety in the district.

Legislative Council is reviewing the Legislature’s sexual harassment policy. To serve as an assurance that the Legislature takes sexual harassment seriously, I’ve sponsored HB 276 to modernize the Legislature’s currently out-of-date policy. I’m also a co-sponsor on HB 216. Now, the PFDs of inmates are spent on their health care instead of paying restitution to the victims of their crimes. This bill places crime victims first.

As always, please contact me over the phone, online, or in person with your questions and concerns. I look forward to seeing you back in the neighborhood soon.

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